Ole Miss Opens the Season with 9-3 Win Over Charleston Southern
OXFORD, Miss. – After a long off season, Ole Miss returned to Swayze Field Friday and opened the year with a 9-3 win over Charleston Southern.
The Rebels started the season on a chilly night, but were equally hot on the mound and at the plate.
Derek Diamond got the nod as the Friday-night starter, and he held the Buccaneers hitless and scoreless through the first three innings.
He gave way to the bullpen after throwing five innings, allowing only two runs — both earned — on two hits in his five innings pitched. Diamond struck out eight while walking two and one hit batter.
— Ole Miss Baseball (@OleMissBSB) February 18, 2022
“I thought (Diamond) was good, especially early,” Ole Miss coach Mike Bianco said. “I know he’s upset he gave up the couple runs in the one inning. It was kind of the epitome of the bad inning, but it was a tough day to pitch today. When you score like that and there are long innings, long counts and walks involved, when we are on offense, he has to sit in the cold for a long time and that’s hard.”
The Rebels offense staked Diamond to a large margin of error. Ole Miss (1-0) scored eight runs in the first four innings to put the game out of reach early.
In the first, Peyton Chatagnier opened the bottom of the inning with a walk, and then came around to score on a Jacob Gonzalez ground out.
Kevin Graham added a run in the second when he trotted home courtesy of Reagan Burford who tallied his first Ole Miss RBI on a sacrifice fly to left. The Rebels added two more runs in the inning to take a 4-0 advantage.
In the third, Ole Miss added a pair of runs to move the score to 6-0 before the Bucs got on the board in the fourth to cut the lead to 6-2.
But the Rebs came back in the bottom of the inning scoring three runs, highlighted by Tim Elko’s first home run of the season.
— Ole Miss Baseball (@OleMissBSB) February 19, 2022
At the dish, the Rebels took advantage of six walks and five hit by pitches from the Charleston Southern pitching staff. The Ole Miss batters collected seven hits on the evening.
Leading the charge at the plate, McCants and Justin Bench each went 2-3 with one RBI apiece. Jacob Gonzalez notched two RBI, while Chatagnier added one.
“We only had seven hits, not necessarily our best day at the plate but we were able to do the job. Get them over, get them in, that’s how you win.”
Peyton Chatagnier on the win over CSU
The Ole Miss bullpen slammed the door behind Diamond after he went five innings. The trio of Mitch Murrell, Jack Washburn, and Mason Nichols allowed a combined two runs (one earned) and three hits over four innings, while striking out six and only walking one.
CSU (0-1) returns for the second game of the three-game set Saturday. First pitch is set for 1:30 p.m. The game will be broadcast on SEC+.
(Feature image credit: Josh McCoy)
Nick Filipich was born and raised in Biloxi, MS. He is an Ole Miss senior majoring in Sports and Recreation Administration. A sports junkie with a great passion for all things Ole Miss, Nick played baseball and football in high school — which is where he discovered his love for sports. He is an avid Braves and Saints fan, and in his free time enjoys spending time with family, friends and his black lab, Dixie.